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Google Pixel 5a hits FCC, giving away some secrets (and raising some questions)

As usual, the fact that we're seeing this at the FCC means that its launch can't be far off.

Published onJuly 8, 2021

Google Pixel logos
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
  • A phone that is undoubtedly the Google Pixel 5a just landed at the FCC.
  • Interestingly, the phone has three model numbers, indicating it could land in more countries than the previously confirmed two.
  • As usual, a public FCC listing almost always indicates an imminent launch date.

Although Google has confirmed its next A-series smartphone is absolutely on the way, the rumor mill has been pretty quiet about it recently. Although we’ve seen leaked renders and can infer some specs, there hasn’t been much news at all over the past few weeks related to the Google Pixel 5a.

However, the phone just made an appearance at the FCC (h/t Android Police). Well, to be clear, an unnamed Google-branded phone just went through the FCC. But judging from the FCC’s information, it’s practically assured it’s the Pixel 5a.

Related: Google Pixel 5a: All the rumors so far

Sometimes FCC listings can give away hints related to the phone’s specs. This time around, though, the most interesting bit of information is the fact that the Pixel 5a appears to have three model numbers: G1F8F, GR0M2, and G4S1M. The G1F8F model is almost certainly the one for the US, which features the LTE bands for most carriers as well as Sub6 5G bands. There’s no mmWave onboard, but that’s to be expected for a budget-oriented device.

The other two models — GR0M2 and G4S1M — appear to be international variants. This is strange, though, because Google said that the Pixel 5a would only land in the US and Japan. If that’s the case, then why would there need to be two non-US models? It’s possible that there is a third launch country we don’t know about yet. If that’s the case, Google could just be holding out on that information for now. Conversely, the company could just be getting approval for a third model with no intention to release it.

The Google Pixel 5a will likely be a subtle variation on the Pixel 4a 5G, albeit with no mmWave support. With that in mind, it will likely be cheaper than the Pixel 4a 5G and would probably replace both it and the vanilla Pixel 4a as the active budget-minded Pixel.

With this listing and Google’s previous assertions, we should see this phone launch in August at some point.